Browne: Census a 'Game-Changer’


Telemundo Communications Group president Don Browne has no doubt the 2010 Census will be “a game-changer” for Hispanics.

In a Sept. 24 interview during the Hispanic Television Summit, Browne made it abundantly clear that Hispanics and the media that serve them should expect big things after their numbers are tallied.

“This is a game-changer for Hispanics around the country and our businesses,” Browne told attendees at the seventh annual Summit session, moderated by Multichannel News executive editor of content Kent Gibbons. “Being counted is just as important as voting. It represents where the government is and with that comes hundreds of millions of dollars that are allocated back to the communities. For Hispanic media, more meters in more markets means how much more successful your businesses are going to be.”

Browne said that while marketers are aware that large numbers of Hispanics reside in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Miami, “post-Census” data will detail exactly where the largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority in the U.S. lives. He noted for those “who have not had a wake-up call, this is going to put us over the top.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 American Community Survey, 45.4 million, or 15.1%, of the U.S. population was Hispanic. Between 2010 and 2050, that total is projected to triple. Meanwhile, the economic clout of U.S. Hispanics will soar from $862 billion in 2007 to $1.2 trillion in 2012, or 9.7% of all U.S. buying power.

Browne said the minority group’s rise is inevitable, but impediments remain in the counting ahead, owing to Hispanics’ “normal suspicions” and aggressive immigration policies that have made many reluctant to participate. Indeed, during the 2000 Census, Hispanics were undercounted by some 3.5 million.

To that end Telemundo, working with community groups, has spearheaded Hazte Contar! (Be Counted), a multiplatform outreach program to increase awareness of the 2010 Census among Hispanics and decrease Latino wariness about the governmental head count. “We want to make sure that people know this is one of the most confidential processes you can be involved in,” he said.